Best Holster Material for 1911?


February 8, 2008, 01:09 PM
Well, I just got side-tracked by those You Tube girls. :)

But here is my question for the fellow members:

I would like to get a nice holster for my stainless 1911. I understand that all holsters give holster wear. Some materials more than others perhaps? I am looking for something for strong arm outside waistband. Comfortable and slick to draw.

Kydex vs. Pre-Formed Leather vs ?

What are your thoughts?


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February 8, 2008, 02:31 PM
LOL I get to be the first to respond. You have a stainless 1911 so you don't have a lot to worry about. People with blued guns are (mostly) the ones who cry about holster-wear. I use both kydex and leather and my stainless guns are pristine whereas my blued guns show their use.

Ask yourself - what is the custom holster that I want. Your gun is stainless so don't fret about 'wear'.

BearClaw Holsters (
Hillsman Holster (
RM Kydex (
Comp Tac (

Milst Sparks (
K&D Holsters (
Southern Holsters (
BoomStick Holsters ( ... and many, many, many more.

Quick generalization: Kydex picks a couple spots, wears them fast, and goes no farther. Leather wears all over, wears very slow, and never stops. I'm not sure that one is better than the other. Weak gun finishes go quick and tough gun finishes may hardly be affected.

Store bought holsters might 'do the job' but the custom makers will help you go first class.

Black Majik
February 8, 2008, 03:29 PM
My experience with holsters have been that kydex will normally wear faster, but usually just at the retention points. Leather wear slower, but will cover more surface area over time.

A good quality holster well formed to the specific pistol should slow down holster wear.

Edit: Whoops, lance already covered it. Uh, +1 :D

The Bushmaster
February 8, 2008, 03:50 PM If you are in a humid climate go horse hide. If not go cow hide...Kramer makes some of the best...

February 8, 2008, 04:24 PM
i prefer kydex to leather, and i would go with a blade tech. they are pricy but they are amog the best in kydex holsters.

leather options that i like is don hume

other kydex
side armor
center of mass
comp tac

The Lone Haranguer
February 8, 2008, 04:34 PM
A horsehide IWB (if that is the kind you want) can be made form fitted to the gun and smooth on the inside, minimizing undue holster wear. If you carry and shoot a gun very much, you will get some. The one Kydex IWB I have is uncomfortable; it is just like putting the gun in my waist with no holster, as all the edges and corners dig in, poke and prod. The Galco Royal Guard for the same gun (Glock 19) almost makes me forget it is there. I would be OK with a OWB made of Kydex, however.

Mad Magyar
February 8, 2008, 05:05 PM
I'm partial to leather that "breathes" and has a supple quality...:)

February 8, 2008, 05:11 PM
I generally prefer leather and I don't worry much about holster wear. I figure it gives the gun character. Of the 5 holsters I have, I would rank them in this order:

1. UBG canute
2. Kramer #3
3. Kirkpatrick
4. Comp Tac
5. High Noon

BTW, Fight Club is one of my favorite movies!

February 8, 2008, 06:09 PM
Have your gun hard-chromed if you want to keep it unscratched.

Leather will wear slower than kydex. Some holsters will even have a softer lining which will slow wear down even more -but I suggest that you worry more about strong retention so the gun doesn't fly out if you stumble.

Strong retention = strong grip = gun wear.

February 8, 2008, 06:31 PM
Take a look at 5Shot Leather, John can make just what you need if you can wait about twelve weeks.

February 8, 2008, 06:34 PM
I like leather. Classic material for a classic design.

February 8, 2008, 06:37 PM
All 1911s are unhappy in Kydex holsters except for the few polymer-framed models.
1911s only like to be carried in genuine leather holsters.
I thought everybody knew that. :)

February 8, 2008, 06:45 PM
If you don't keep your leather holster clean, it will wear worse than kydex, and an all over wear instead of just the high spots. But you've got stainless, so go for the fast plastic. What are you using this for, concealed? Hunting? OWB? IWB?

February 8, 2008, 11:47 PM
It would be for concealed carry in cold weather. Open carry in warm while fishing, hiking, etc.

I guess kydex would be best since I have stainless and my primary concern would be scratches. Maybe just use the one it came with -Kydek over frame only.

I realize I will just have to assume a scratch from holstering will happen eventually.

Any further thoughts?

"Things you own end up owning you."

February 8, 2008, 11:48 PM
Leather would be the "classic choice."

February 9, 2008, 12:42 AM
My preference isn't based on wear characteristics. For steel/alloy guns, I like leather--polymer, kydex. No reason really. I guess I prefer leather, but kydex and polymer just feel like they should go together.

Short answer--I would go with leather for a 1911.

Big Boomer
February 9, 2008, 02:34 AM
Milt Sparks bar none. Also get it in horsehide, very rigid, holds it shape, sweat won't hurt it a bit. Also, sharkskin is a nice touch :p

It's in the background with the matching belt.

February 11, 2008, 02:07 PM
Thanks to all for your responses!
I will digest your thoughts over the next few days.

Such a great website!
I have already suggested this website for my fellow space monkeys.


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